The New York TimesThe New York Times

Why heat waves are deepening China's addiction to coal

By Keith Bradsher

20 Jul 2023 · 5 min read

informed Summary

  1. China has been increasing its coal usage to maintain a stable electricity supply for air-conditioning during heat waves. The country already emits almost a third of all energy-related greenhouse gases, more than the U.S., Europe and Japan combined.

BEIJING — China has an answer to the heat waves now affecting much of the Northern Hemisphere: burn more coal to maintain a stable electricity supply for air-conditioning.

Even before this year, China was emitting almost a third of all energy-related greenhouse gases — more than the United States, Europe and Japan combined. China burns more coal every year than the rest of the world combined. Last month, China generated 14% more electricity from coal, its dominant fuel source, than it did in June 2022.

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